A few random thoughts:
First of all, can I say I am SO GLAD they changed the ending? I have to admit that while I love the comic A LOT, the minute the giant psychic one-eyed alien squid-thing appears, even though I know it's a scientifically engineered giant squid-thing that's supposed to look all crazy and stuff, my suspension of disbelief just goes out the window. Just for that part. It's so...ridiculous looking. And...silly. In this book where there are such intense characters as Rorschach, to have something like the giant squid be the cause of millions of deaths just seems laughable. (Please, Watchmen comic lovers, if I have just committed blasphemy in your eyes by stating this, at least be civil if you come over to the comments to tell me so. I *do* still love the comic, you know.)
So changing the ending to having Ozymandias trick Jon into engineering a machine that can reproduce his powers on a wide scale and then use that to wipe out the major cities - it just fits so much better, for me, with the seriousness of purpose of Ozymandias and the whole noirish feel of the comic/movie, and also doesn't make me go, "Oh come now! And you were doing so well pulling me into your alternate world!" Not to mention that since in the comic, Dr. Manhattan is supposed to be the first "true" superhero, i.e. a being with superpowers, I always wondered at Adrian's ability to just find a real psychic hanging around out there somewhere.
Second, I must note here that the opening credits are awesome, and do a great job of setting the scene for the alternate history that the audience is about to enter. Besides flashing back to show snippets of life for a lot of the Minutemen, I liked the little glimpses of the slight alterations from our world to the Watchmen world - like, there's still a famous World War II kiss photo, but look, it's Silhouette and her girlfriend! That kind of thing. Very cool.
What else, what else (thoughts are still a bit scattered since I just saw it)...
Well, Jackie Earle Haley really nailed Rorschach, both in and out of the mask. Rorschach is my favorite character (despite the fact that, as cleolinda puts it Rorschach is, depending on the scene, weird, off-putting, loathsome, terrifying.... (Note: she also correctly points out that he is also sometimes pitiful, or almost, in a weird way, noble by turns)). It is hard to pin down why he's my favorite, given the laundry list of character defects, but I think in part I like him so much because he at least tries to make things right in the best way he knows how, even after his messed-up childhood and all the things he's seen. And because he does, really, believe in individual justice in his own way, whereas as soon as you start getting into "ends justify the means" territory you run the danger of wandering over to the Ozymandias side and killing tons of innocent people "for the greater good". Rorschach does end up being the hero, as far as it goes, and really believes in truth and accountability no matter what. I'll always love that line, "No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise." I must admit I shed a tear when Rorschach died (*sniff*).
Speaking of Ozymandias, Matthew Goode didn't impress me as much as some of the others, although he was still pretty good. I think in part he was so bland as to be almost boring. Which isn't too far off from the comics - but in the comics, at least, we get the small touches of humanity - like when he asks Dr. Mahattan, in the end, if he did the right thing. That small bit of irony (that the world's smartest man, who plotted and planned and carried out genocide, still looks to the "superman" who can barely relate to humans sometimes, to see if he did the right thing) would have been a great addition to the film.
But now I have to say, give it up for the Comedian! I do think that Jackie Earle Haley was the most stellar performance, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan did a fantastic job of selling the Comedian, who I always thought was a fascinating character, and not one that would be that easy to portray. Certainly in the movie you get all the despicable parts of Edward Blake, but you also get that indefinable something that shows that he's not all bad, either, and kind of makes it hard to hate him. (I loved the flashback with the Comedian and Laurie, for instance. That's one of those moments when you can't hate him.) And, I mean, let's face it, nasty as he is sometimes, he has some pretty badass scenes that are just fun to watch. (You know, I always wished Moore had done more of an origin story on the Comedian, as well as more stuff on Mothman - why does he go crazy?? They never tell you! I'd love to see that.) So the Comedian scenes were interesting and visually fun.
Visually, the whole movie was a lot of fun, and I loved all the little details they made sure to put in - like the poster of The Silk Spectre in Blake's apartment and that sort of thing. I'm sure I missed a bunch, but maybe I'll catch them next time I see it. :) One tiny detail that actually bugged me was Moloch's ears. I know they are pointy in the comic, but since they don't show that he used to be a magician, or any of that stuff (although maybe Rorschach says it when he's rattling off Moloch's aliases) it's kind of weird in the context of the movie. But that's just a small detail.
...And I'm sure I have more to say, but I can't think of it right now. So in summary, yay, Watchmen! I want to see it again.
Also, re: Watchmen, here are a couple of good links from cleolinda:
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Nathan Fillion on The View
Two favorite actors at once. SQUEE. JDM is just adorable. Also, Nathan Fillion's new show sounds interesting, and I never realized how tall he is before. Probably because on Firefly, he's often standing near Adam Baldwin. Heh.
The best (and worst) mainstream review quotes about Watchmen
Interesting to read. I like Roger Ebert's. He seems slightly puzzled as to why he liked it.
In other news, sadly, on Saturday morning (about 6 am, gah) I noticed something was wrong with Rogue, because she was walking/hopping funny. She was alert, but having trouble using her back end and feet. This necessitated an emergency trip to the vet way out in the boonies (chinchilla vets are not thick on the ground) with Kelly as driver (bless her). The vet did an exam and x-ray on her. It turns out there are no broken bones, so the vet thinks it's some sort of nerve damage, possibly done by falling off of something in the cage or similar. I know there's been no trauma when I've had her out, but when she's in the cage I'm not watching her all the time. (I should note that the set-up of the cage is supposedly safe according to my research before adding anything to it, and has been the same for about 4 years. But accidents do happen.) So we're not sure how it happened, but somehow, between Thursday and Saturday morning she got in this state. This news is either very good or very bad. I.e. if it's not permanent damage, she can recover and be just fine. If it is...then, as the vet puts it, "we have to talk 'quality of life'." :(
For now, I'm feeding her supplemental food through a plastic syringe (not with a needle) along with two medications, 3 times a day. It's a very interesting process, to say the least (Rogue does *not* like being wrapped up in a towel and force-fed things). The vet thinks we'll see improvement in a week, if at all. So, everybody keep your fingers crossed for her.
In better news, I had a nice birthday dinner and cake with a few friends on Saturday night, and nice visiting-time with Brian yesterday and today before he went back to Philly. So that was fun!
And now, it's time for another feeding.
P.S. I forgot to add, in other better news, my sister is due in 10 days!! We're all excited. I hope everything goes well.